A senior government official of Jamaica recently advised that the country is seeking reparations for the Transatlantic Slave Trade from the United Kingdom.
According to the Mirror, a petition will reportedly be filed asking for £7.6billion in reparations for Britain’s involvement in the slave trade during the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s been reported by the National Library of Jamaica that roughly 600,000 Africans were shipped to the island by British and Spanish traders. Britain seized the Caribbean in 1655 from the Spanish, making Jamaica a part of the British colony until 1962. Although they did gain their independence, Jamaica is still part of the Commonwealth, which Queen Elizabeth II and the British monarch remain at the head.
Jamaica’s Minister of Sports, Youth, and Culture, Olivia Grange, advised the following, by way of The Hill:
“We are hoping for reparatory justice in all forms that one would expect if they are to really ensure that we get justice from injustices to repair the damages that our ancestors experienced.”
“Our African ancestors were forcibly removed from their home and suffered unparalleled atrocities in Africa to carry out forced labor to the benefit of the British Empire.”
“Redress is well overdue.”
Britain prohibited the trade of African slaves in 1807 but didn’t formally abolish slavery until 1834. So a $20 million loan was taken out by the British government to compensate slave owners, with the final interest payments being paid off in 2015.
According to Reuters, Jamaican lawmaker Mike Henry, who motioned for the reparations petition, stated the following:
“I am asking for the same amount of money to be paid to the slaves that was paid to the slave owners.”
“I am doing this because I have fought against this all my life, against chattel slavery which has dehumanized human life.”
Big moves are being made in Jamaica. For more information on the fight for reparations throughout the Caribbean, check out The CARICOM Reparations Commission.
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: New York Post
Chappell, K. (2021, July 12). Jamaica plans to seek reparations from Britain over slavery. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/jamaica-plans-seek-reparations-britain-over-slavery-2021-07-12/.
Guzman, J. (2021, July 12). In historic move, Jamaica will demand reparations from Britain over slavery The petition could seek billions. The Hill. https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/equality/562610-in-historic-move-jamaica-will-demand-reparations-from.
Lloyd, N. (2021, July 13). Jamaica asks UK to pay £7billion for hundreds of years of slave trade ‘atrocities’. Mirror. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jamaica-asks-uk-pay-7billion-24522998.